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  • Accidental Shooting...

    This happened back in August and I was wondering if anyone else had heard about this unfortunate incident + what your thoughts might be as well. Sorry for the long post. Couldn't get the link to work

    Noble officers charged with manslaughter

    Prosecutors filed second-degree manslaughter charges Friday against two Noble police officers involved in the Aug. 3 accidental shooting that claimed the life of 5-year-old Austin Haley of Noble.

    Brad Rogers, 34, and Shawn Richardson, 29, are expected to turn themselves in to authorities next week, said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

    Rogers, who had been on the Noble police force approximately one month, was the officer who reportedly twice fired a .357 semi-automatic handgun in a residential area, attempting to shoot a snake in a bird house. One of the two shots struck Austin Haley in the head while he was fishing at a nearby pond with family members.

    Sgt. Richardson was the supervising officer at the scene, Mashburn said.

    “Being a member of the law enforcement community made the decision more difficult,” Mashburn said. “At the end of the day, I looked at the law and visited with the family and made the decision based on the law.”

    Mashburn said he “thoroughly reviewed” OSBI reports and “personally walked” the scene of the shooting.

    The second-degree manslaughter is based upon “culpable negligence,” Mashburn said.

    “Culpable negligence is defined as the omission to do something a reasonably careful person would do,” Mashburn said. “Based on my review of the OSBI report and my viewing of the scene, I concluded these officers failed to do something that a reasonably careful person would do by firing a weapon at a non-poisonous snake that was stuck in a birdhouse without knowing what lay behind their location.”

    Mashburn said he looked at other cases involving accidental deaths, and determined there “must be some level of accountability for the officers involved.”

    Several family members attended Mashburn’s afternoon press conference at the Cleveland County Office Building.

    “Just because they wear a uniform doesn’t mean they’re above the law,” said Cheryl Tracy, Austin’s grandmother. “If they had just used their brains, our grandson would not have been shot.”

    Published March 12, 2008 12:00 am - Transcript Staff Writer
    NOBLE -- The parents of a 5-year-old who was accidentally shot and killed by police ...

    Haley family members disagree with plea bargain
    The Norman Transcript

    NOBLE -- The parents of a 5-year-old who was accidentally shot and killed by police officers spoke out Tuesday against a possible plea bargain that would let the officers be placed on probation without any jail time.

    "We're the victims here and I think we have a right ... to let the public know we want justice here, and there just is not justice for us," said Jack Haley, the father of Austin Haley, who was shot Aug. 3.

    Robert Shawn Richardson and Paul Bradley Rogers were charged with manslaughter in September for the death. The officers shot at a snake hanging from a birdhouse in someone's back yard. A bullet struck Haley, who was fishing with his father and grandfather at a pond behind the house.

    Haley said he and his wife, Renee, were told weeks ago about the deal by the district attorney's office.

    "They've let us know what the deal is and we're not in agreement at all," he said.

    The bargain told to the Haleys includes putting the officers on probation, making them pay $1,000 fine and giving them a two-year deferred sentence, Renee Haley said. The crime would remain a felony and the officers would lose their CLEET certification, she said.

    Assistant District Attorney David Brockman said he could not reveal the details of the plea bargain. He told The Transcript Monday that an acceptable agreement may have been reached. All indicators showed the officers would enter pleas according to that agreement, he said.

    Disposition is set for April 30 before District Judge Tom Lucas.

    The Haleys are not happy with the possible bargain. They said they wanted the officers to spend at least 30 days in jail.

    "Because jail time would send a message, and it would make an example to other officers," Jack Haley said. "...Their use of a weapon was reckless and deadly -- and for what? To shoot a snake."

    The Haleys also are concerned that the crime might be expunged after the two years are over. In that case, the officers would be able to reapply for law enforcement jobs, Renee Haley said.

    She called the possible agreement a "sweetheart deal."

    "If it was one of us, we would have been put in jail that very evening," she said. "... Because they're wearing a badge, they're treated differently."
    Last edited by LPAjh9558; 03-12-2008, 01:18 AM.
    "Life In Every Breath"

  • #2
    I didn't know cops were snake experts toknow whick are dangerous and which are not. I'm terrified of snakes,therefore ALL are poisonous.
    THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

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    • #3
      Part of the plea deal also provides that;

      Plead guilty to manslaughter
      2 yrs. probation (not sure?)
      1 big fine...
      Lose CLEET certification-Can reapply after 2 yrs.

      Not completely sure of all the details. This was really a sad thing that didn't have to happen.
      "Life In Every Breath"

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      • #4
        Animal Control anybody? Why the H E double hockey sticks would you try to shoot a snake, hanging basically from a tree, in a residential neighborhood? DUH.......
        Apparently a HUGE cop wannabe...

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